In my novel Skol, during a 23rd century conversation between the robot C-2 and shy 17 year-old Simon as they walk through the silent empty halls of New York's Museum of Natural History, C-2 explains how the term 'introvert' fell into disuse in the late 21st century because people began to use it as an insult. … Continue reading Why Insults?
Though I've been told that my novel Skol is the best of my books, you would never guess that from its sales. My other novel, The Birdcatcher, has had many readers over the years, and the first edition of The Shyness Guide was once selling well enough that I was threatening to break even financially. Meanwhile, Skol has had no following at all. … Continue reading My Lost Book – Skol
The following thoughts only partially got into The Shyness Guide. Psychologist Philip Zimbardo, founder of the Stanford Shyness Institute in California, has devoted much of his life to shyness. In his 1978 book Shyness - What It is, What to Do About It, he says, "Shyness is a fuzzy concept; the closer we look, the more varieties of … Continue reading What is Shyness?
Are you aware that shyness seems to be increasing in modern society? Besides the fact that surveys, at least in North America, show the number of people who perceive themselves to be shy increasing (it's usually over 50% now), in sociologist Eric Klinenberg's 2012 bestselling book, Going Solo - The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of … Continue reading Shyness Re-emerging
I must admit that my perspective on shyness is different than most. It's the perspective of a loner. During my life I've often been called shy, sensitive, or introverted. But several people, at different times, have also told me that I was the most independent person they'd ever met. Well, that strong independence is genetic. … Continue reading What does a Loner know about Shyness?
What do you think this hyena at the Toronto Zoo was looking at? If the expression on its face suggests that it was seeing something odd, well, maybe it was. As I was taking that photo, a group of 4-5 adult people on my left were talking animatedly as they engaged in taking selfies, and … Continue reading Hyenas and Selfie Culture
Like many people, I used to be sceptical of the Warren Commission finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was nothing more than a misfit loner, who shot JFK. I had always assumed that there was at least one other shooter. I didn't realize until recently that Oswald may not have shot anyone. Besides documentaries, there have … Continue reading Rescuing Lee Harvey Oswald
Although the central character in my novel, The Birdcatcher, is 52 years old, that book seems to please young readers more than old ones. One shy teen-age reader told me that she found the book to be "not just the story of one lone man, but of a worldwide type of people who have been so well … Continue reading Why do Young People like my books?
About 10 years ago I did a search for loner websites and found none. The only site that used the term was Loners of America. That turned out to be a group of seniors who had each lost their partner but owned an RV. This group of newly singled men and women travelled around America together, … Continue reading What is a Loner?